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The Shapes of Numbers: A History of Polyhedrons from Plato to Poinsot, Passing through Luca Pacioli

The idea that the universe is governed by mathematical laws has been advanced since the dawn of philosophical thought. This exhibition is a sort of striking journey through the shapes of numbers covering the period from Euclid’s codification (3rd century BC) to the threshold of non-Euclidean geometry (19th century). The wooden models of geometric figures on display are actual 3D representations of main concepts of solid geometry. Among them are the five regular solids which Plato supposed to be the very essence of the cosmos. The exhibition is enhanced by an evocative recreation of Kepler’s Mysterium cosmographicum and precious antique books from the Museo di Storia della Scienza’s library. The Bibliotheca Perspectivae – a digital library on Renaissance perspective – makes available rare 15th/18th-century treatises as well as outstanding iconographic resources.

 

Exhibition Dates

17.03.2005 – 09.10.2005 Florence, Museo di Storia della Scienza